In this article, we will be highlighting civilization games in order of the best to the worst. Our list features a great contribution from the developer Firaxis company, co-founded by Sydney Meier, Jeff Briggs, and Brian Reynolds. Accordingly, the best civilization game should have good game qualities and interesting gameplay, which is purely what you will find in our recommendations.
In this article, we have provided reviews for the best civilization games. Even so, let's understand the concept of a civilization game.
Which is the best version of Civilization?
What are Civilization Games?
Civilization games are virtual creations that work based on a player's strategy in building empires and societies. Unlike most survival games, civilization games go beyond war simulations to include governance, diplomacy, building empires, religion, scientific innovations, and trade development.
Among the available virtual civilization creations, you have the option of building societies either on earth or in space. Specifically, Sid Meier's civilization series stands out as our favorite civilization game. So in that respect, let's dive into our recommendations.
Civilization IV is our best civilization game in the series of Sid Meier's Civilization games. This Civ IV game was released on October 25, 2005, under the developing company Firaxis Games. Particularly, players can enjoy building their civilizations and city structures in alluring 3D graphics. In addition, you can enjoy the beautiful soundtrack selection and inspirational quotes from Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy.
Moreover, the Civilization IV gameplay is significantly improved with religion, espionage, vassal city-states, and civics. Ideally, religion was added to control the population in Civilization IV along with the contemporary civic methods for the administration of civilizations. You can also zoom out to the point you can see the whole world as one. Accordingly, now you know why this strategy game is ranked top on our list.
Even more, the combat under Civilization IV is long but with monotonous battles. Generally, this Civ IV game deserves to kick off our list with its expanded civilization wonders. You can play this strategy game on Windows and OS X platforms.
Our second contender for the best civilization game is Civilization VI, for its advanced gameplay mechanics with improved graphics. Coming out after Sid Meier's Civilization V (5), civilization VI doesn't feature any radical additions as an upgrade but rather improves on the quality of its predecessors as part of a technology tree. Nevertheless, Civ VI features the most sub-releases, coming through the New Frontier Pass.
Most significantly, Civilization VI allows players to expand their civilizations and cities to more tiles using the special add-ons named districts. Subsequently, it requires more strategy while placing cities rather than just dotting your map with cities. Also, the aspect of religion has a great influence on your victory.
Fundamentally, any expansion on the Civilization VI creation seeks to add more winning methods. For instance, the Rise and Fall version adds the loyalty mechanics plus the ability to hire leaders to be in charge of your cities. Therefore, even without a history of other games under the Franchise of Sid Meier, Brian Reynolds, and Jeff Briggs, you can enjoy the simulation of modern wonders under Civ 6. You can play this game on Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
We also recommend Civilization V for its expansive 18 civilizations and 87 different units on God and King, Brave New World, and smaller expansions. You will strive to lead a civilization from man's dawn into the space age and eventually become a World ruler through Civilization V. Understandably, you can achieve victory in the Brave New World Civilization V through seven strategies, namely diplomacy, research, expansion, exploration, governance, military conquest, espionage, and economic development.
That said, Civilization V introduced patches for upgrading AI with the extras of civics and religion. Consequently, this game is built with improved graphics and pioneer hexagonal tiles that make it feel smooth with a well-polished installation. Civilization V also boasts native-speaking leaders with the option of switching to hexagonal tile and implementation of city-states. Civilization V is compatible with Windows, Linux, and OS X platforms.
Following the upgrade of Civilization II, Civilization III is much cleaner and smoother. Civ 3 fits the candidacy of the best civilization game because of its easy user interface, smooth control, streamlined management, and an enhanced multiplayer pack. In addition, Civilization III allows players to monopolize strategic resources, starve out competitive civilizations, or hike prices. Also, it has the extra mechanic of corruption which makes it difficult to control faraway cities and the mechanic of volcanic eruptions.
Furthermore, while playing, you will notice the civilizations under this Meier's franchise expansion are more distinct and individual with diversified gameplay and victory strategies. Civilization III is also built with some revolutionary features that still prevail in recent releases, such as beautiful animations, polished aesthetics, and deep systems. Therefore, during its release time, October 2001, it held the advantage of being future-proof.
Within the scope of building civilizations, the Civilization III gameplay features incredible world wonders, great people, and empire technologies. Overall, its appealing character and mechanical aesthetics make it a worthy pick for a fun civilization game. You can enjoy this game on Windows and Mac OS platforms.
You might be wondering why Civilization II appears on this list if Civ 3 introduced revolutionary expansions that can still be found in modern releases. Nevertheless, Civ 2 civilization gaming also introduced some extra polish and implemented an isometric view that was a game-changer. Additionally, it also has an incredible military battle system that is engaging.
Besides the military aspect, you could also achieve victory under Civilization II through social, economic, diplomatic, political, and espionage mechanics. Regardless of its less administrative city units, this gameplay is important for understanding Sid Meier's franchise history. After its release, you could enjoy this intricate Civ game on Windows, Mac OS, and PlayStation.
While the civilization franchise focused on governance and legal victory, Sid Meier and his partners made the Civ game in the series named Beyond Earth-Alpha Centauri. As opposed to the earth civilization mechanics, the Alpha Centauri is based on the space setting. Precisely, Civilization: Beyond Earth-Alpha Centauri applies gameplay centered around human habitation in new worlds outside earth.
As the first game under the space orientation after Civilization 5, Beyond Earth-Alpha Centauri features certain changes and improvements but within the style of Civ games. Additionally, it still requires strategy and free explorations but now in the context of technological advancements and more complex adversaries like aliens.
Such civilization expansions provide an innovative perspective and creative fantasy on the possibilities of human capabilities. Considerably, the Alpha Centauri version provides a new perspective to human conquest that makes it fit for the tag of best civilization game. This Civ game can be played on the Windows, OS X, and Linux platforms.
Civilization I is the first game under Meier's series of civilization simulations. Accordingly, this game was inspired by war-related simulators that were popular under the Sims gaming creation. Precisely, this game allowed for a god-like perspective of characters. This first game has a Civ top-down view of the world built with a split grid of square tiles.
Moreover, this top-down view of a Civ game enables players to control leaders, establish a city network and attempt to establish an empire. Military fighting barbarians and the tech tree were introduced and necessary to build Sid Meier's civilization gaming series from the get-go. Even so, this first Civ release was limited, with only seven options for leaders and limited innovative gameplay. This Civ game was available for Windows, N-Gaga, Amiga, MS-Dos, Atari ST, PC-98, Mac OS, Sega Saturn, Super NES, and PlayStation.
Another great contender for the best civilization game is Call to Power II, by different developers named Activision. In addition, this game sought to drown a player with refined gaming elements, unlike its overwhelming predecessor. Specifically, this upgraded Activision civilization game focuses on earth civilization.
Furthermore, this game also supports additional mods for increased diversity in civilizations. Under Call to Power 2, the civilization-related play could be automated with the addition of improved diplomacy. Another enabling feature for this Civ game is its user-friendly interface.
This improved version of Call to Power I lacks colonization, space warfare, and underwater cities. Nonetheless, you can enjoy the addition of futuristic army units as well as global warming. Unfortunately, you can only enjoy this game on Windows.
Most civilization strategy games end with complete domination over other civilizations or societies or with space exploration. Conversely, Civilization Revolution presents an alternative with the option of two victories to sustain a revolution. This survival chance plays out in the form of the United Nations after capturing 20 great wonders or the World Bank redemption by obtaining 20,000 gold units.
Some of the historical great leadership icons to choose from include Cleopatra, Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon, and Julius Caesar. With the added revolution twist, this revolution game promises more fun while recreating the virtual fantasy of survival. This game can be played on consoles like Nintendo DS and PlayStation and platforms like Windows Phone and iOS.
Last on our list of best civilization games is Call to Power I, by Activision. Amid the legal tussles on the name Civilization between the developer Activision and Sid Meier co., this empire-builder was created. Unfortunately, even if it marked an incredible introduction to the fascinating Activision civilization franchise, this first release was shambolic and termed the worst by civilization gamers. Its gameplay is rather overbearing with virtual fantasies of warfare in space and underwater, plus sneaky units including slavers, lawyers, televangelists, and other steampunky ambitious features.
Unfortunately, this game has a poor interface and implementation with an unfocused and bloated. The mere effort to incorporate all civilization fantasies into one game created conflicting ideas that made this game score poorly. Despite its last position on our list, it is not the worst, but its successor improved its bloated gameplay. You can play this game on BeOS, Mac OS, Linux, and Windows.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Civilization Game
1. Which is the best version of a Civilization game?
We recommend any Sid Meier's civilization game, emphasizing the most recent releases of Civ 4, Civilization V, and beyond. These games provide diversified winning mechanics, including diplomacy, research, expansion, exploration, governance, military conquest, espionage, economic development, corruption, and even trade strategies.
Moreover, the preferred Sid Meier's games are built with quality graphics and smooth gameplay for enjoyable and captivating gaming. Overall, these recommended Civ games can be played on a variety of platforms, making them adaptable.
2. Is Civilization vi (6) or v (5) better?
Choosing either of these two games can't be the worst considering both are from a reputable developer. Nevertheless, you can get Civilization 6 over Civ 5 because it offers expanded civilization-building options, including additional modern world wonders. Additionally, the developer of Civ 6 dedicated efforts to improving the quality of its graphics. In most cases, more recent releases tend to create the impression of an improved quality, which is the case for Civ 6.
3. Can you install civilization games on phones?
Yes, you can. Civ VI (6) is now available for android phones by downloading it from Google Play Store. At first, you only have free 60 playing turns, after which you will need to unlock the full game at a charge.